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Retainers After Braces​

Retainers After Braces​ - What it is

After braces are removed, you will need retainers to keep your teeth in their corrected positions.  Without a phase of retention there is a tendency for the teeth to return to their initial position (relapse).

For how long do I need to wear retainers? 
It takes time for the bone and all the tissues around your teeth to reorganise and therefore it is necessary to use retainers until your bite stabilises. In the first month after the braces are removed, the risk of relapse is very high.

Without retainers, there is a tendency for the teeth to return to their initial position. This unfavourable change from the corrected position is known as relapse. 

In order to prevent relapse, retainers are worn for as long as you want to maintain straight teeth. This is because teeth continue to move throughout life, almost like a natural aging process. 

Retainers are individually designed to prevent teeth from reverting to their original positions. Retainers can take the form of a removable appliance or a fixed wire bonded at the back of your front teeth. 

Do I have to Wear Them All the Time? 
Your orthodontist will prescribe the retention plan that is best for you. Some retainers are used full-time for the first 6 months; after that, the retainers are worn only at night. Other retainers are worn full-time for about a week to a month, and at night thereafter. Fixed retainers are normally kept in place for a few years. 

Is it Important to Use Your Retainers?
Removable retainers should be taken out during eating, contact sports and when you brush your teeth. To clean the retainers, remove them first and brush them in tap water using a toothbrush and some toothpaste. Brush your teeth after this. 

The safest place for your retainers is in your mouth. If you are not using the retainers they should always be kept in a box. There is a great risk of losing retainers if they are wrapped in tissue paper after you remove them from your mouth. 

How Will Retainers Affect My Daily Life? 
A removable retainer has a wire holding the front teeth. It will be visible but much less than the fixed braces. 

If you have a removable retainer in your upper jaw, it will take you one to two days to get accustomed to them and speak properly. It is normal to experience a lot of saliva in your mouth with a new retainer. 

Always bring the box to store your retainers to be kept should you need to remove them. If you have a fixed retainer, you should spend more time to brush the back of your teeth. You have to brush all around the wire so that calculus will not form. You will be instructed on how to use dental floss with a floss-threader. Do remember not to use your front teeth for biting hard foods or objects. Fixed retainers do not affect speech. 

Will my teeth never change when the period of retention is over? 
Bone has the capacity to change and remodel for as long as we live; that is why a broken bone can heal. 

From 20 to 50 years of age, faces mature and teeth continue to push forward, causing crowding of the lower front teeth. This happens regardless of whether you have had wisdom teeth removed, extractions of teeth or previous orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth. 

To avoid the risk of late crowding, fixed retainers can be kept in for more than 5 years if oral hygiene is good. Removable retainers can be worn at night for as long as one wants to maintain straight teeth.

Retainers After Braces​ - Symptoms

Retainers After Braces​ - How to prevent?

Retainers After Braces​ - Causes and Risk Factors

The true causes of relapse are not fully understood, but are felt to relate to recoil of the fibres that hold the teeth in the jaw bone, pressures from the lips, cheeks and tongue, further growth and the way the teeth meet together.

Retainers After Braces​ - Diagnosis

Retainers After Braces​ - Treatments

Retainers After Braces​ - Preparing for surgery

Retainers After Braces​ - Post-surgery care

Retainers After Braces​ - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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